Robust but weak winter atmospheric circulation response to future Arctic sea ice loss


Contact
Tido.Semmler [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

The possibility that Arctic sea ice loss weakens mid-latitude westerlies, promoting more severe cold winters, has sparked more than a decade of scientific debate, with apparent support from observations but inconclusive modelling evidence. Here we show that sixteen models contributing to the Polar Amplification Model Intercomparison Project simulate a weakening of mid-latitude westerlies in response to projected Arctic sea ice loss. We develop an emergent constraint based on eddy feedback, which is 1.2 to 3 times too weak in the models, suggesting that the real-world weakening lies towards the higher end of the model simulations. Still, the modelled response to Arctic sea ice loss is weak: the North Atlantic Oscillation response is similar in magnitude and offsets the projected response to increased greenhouse gases, but would only account for around 10% of variations in individual years. We further find that relationships between Arctic sea ice and atmospheric circulation have weakened recently in observations and are no longer inconsistent with those in models.



Item Type
Article
Authors
Divisions
Primary Division
Programs
Primary Topic
Helmholtz Cross Cutting Activity (2021-2027)
N/A
Publication Status
Published
Eprint ID
56471
DOI 10.1038/s41467-022-28283-y

Cite as
Smith, D. M. , Eade, R. , Andrews, M. B. , Ayres, H. , Clark, A. , Chripko, S. , Deser, C. , Dunstone, N. J. , García-Serrano, J. , Gastineau, G. , Graff, L. S. , Hardiman, S. C. , He, B. , Hermanson, L. , Jung, T. , Knight, J. , Levine, X. , Magnusdottir, G. , Manzini, E. , Matei, D. , Mori, M. , Msadek, R. , Ortega, P. , Peings, Y. , Scaife, A. A. , Screen, J. A. , Seabrook, M. , Semmler, T. , Sigmond, M. , Streffing, J. , Sun, L. and Walsh, A. (2022): Robust but weak winter atmospheric circulation response to future Arctic sea ice loss , Nature Communications, 13 , p. 727 . doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-28283-y


Download
[thumbnail of Smith_2022.pdf]
Preview
PDF
Smith_2022.pdf

Download (8MB) | Preview

Share


Citation

Research Platforms

Campaigns
N/A

Funded by
727862


Actions
Edit Item Edit Item